There’s a difference between (small r) republican principles and the Republican Party’s rules of procedure. But National Review neoconservative Jonah Goldberg doesn’t see it.
Or, maybe Goldberg is using America’s founding, governing principles to piggyback the Republican Party’s oft revised and rigged rules to respectability.
Conservatives who harbor the quaint expectation that voters, not party operatives, would choose the nominee stand accused by Goldberg of fetishizing unfiltered democracy.
“America is a republic not a simple democracy,” says Goldberg, in motivating for Grand Old Party chicanery.
Goldberg’s argument is a cunning but poor one. It confuses bureaucratic rules with higher principles: the republicanism of America’s Constitution makers.
Through a Bill of Rights and a scheme that divides authority between autonomous states and a national government, American federalism aimed to secure the rights of the individual by imposing strict limits on the power of thumping majorities and a central government.
The Goldberg variations on republicanism won’t wash. The Republican Party’s arbitrary rules relate to the Founding Founders’ republicanism as the Romney Rule relates to veracity.
The Romney initiated Rule 40(b) is a recent addition to the Republican Party rule book. It stipulates that in order to win the nomination, a candidate must demonstrate he has earned a majority of delegates from at least eight different states. Rule 40 (b) was passed post-haste to thwart libertarian candidate Ron Paul.
Party crooks and their lawyers now find themselves in a pickle, because Governor John Kasich, candidate for the establishment (including the New York Times and the Huffington Post), has yet to meet the Republican rule du jour.
So, what do The Rulers do? They plan to change the rules. Again.
Pledged delegates are not supposed to act as autonomous agents. Their voting has to be tethered to the candidate whom voters have overwhelmingly chosen. But not when The Party parts company with The Voters. Then, delegates might find themselves unmoored from representing the voters.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has hinted at allowing pledged delegates the freedom to betray their pledge. …
UPDATE: Two people noticed the “Goldberg Variations” Bach reference. Via Facebook:
Joshua Jennings: Love the Bach reference!
Ilana Mercer Love the folks who noticed, all 2 of you, Joshua Jennings.
Ilana Mercer: The other was my editor.